China online retailer Tmall is endorsing a physical store in Malaysia.
Bringing the online shopping experience offline is Lumahgo Sdn Bhd, in collaboration with Tmall and lifestyle furniture retailer, Lorenzo.
The 5,000 sq ft Taobao Selection x Lumahgo store is on the first floor of Viva Home Shopping Mall, Kuala Lumpur.
“We are developing a new retail system that caters to Malaysians, which will bring a new retail technology experience to local retailers,” said Lumahgo chief executive officer Fabian Kong.
Taobao x Lumahgo was opened by Lumahgo New Retail Sdn Bhd and endorsed by Tmall. However, the store was not opened by Tmall itself.
Tmall is a business-to-consumer online retail website under Alibaba Group.
Through the agreement, Kong said Alibaba Group would provide the company with tools such as big data that targets Malaysian consumers, technology and a platform for local furniture retailers to sell their products.
Kok (centre) viewing the products at the opening of Taobao Selection store as Kong (left) looks on
“We are helping Tmall World to sell the selected products in Malaysia for customers who do not know how to shop online,” said Kong, adding that offline furniture shopping still accounts for 98% of the transactions.
With the new virtual technology introduced, Kong said it allowed customers to visualise and buy the furniture online.
With this partnership, Tmall will promote Malaysian furniture to the world under a multi brand flagship store run by Lumahgo.
The strategic partnership was formed and witnessed by Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.
“Our economy has not been very good in the past couple of years, but we have seen an increase in the furniture export industry.
“This year, we predicted that timber exports will increase by 5% compared to last year and I hope that the Lumahgo and Tmall World partnership can further drive the export of Malaysian furniture,” said Kok.
Affordable and quality products from Tmall.com were selected to meet the needs of Malaysian customers.
A second Taobao Selection store is slated to open in January next year in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
Note: It was earlier mistakenly reported that e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is opening its first retail store in South-East Asia in Malaysia. We regret the error.